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3 reasons why Bears used transition tag on Kyle Fuller

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report from CBS Sports almost a month ago, the Chicago Bears weren't planning to retain starting cornerback Kyle Fuller ahead of free agency. Meaning the Raiders will have to look elsewhere to upgrade their beleaguered secondary this offseason.

Fuller can negotiate with other teams under the transition tag, but the Bears have the right of first refusal to match any offer sheet Fuller gets.

Oakland trotted out one of the worst secondaries in football in 2017. Though Smith did play better later in the year under assistant head coach-defense John Pagano, that was because he was used situationally and to his strengths. He posted his best season past year, intercepting two passes and deflecting 22 more, while providing the physical tackling that first drew Emery to Fuller.

Drafted by general manager Phil Emery with the No. 14 overall pick in 2014, Fuller missed all of the 2016 season after an August knee procedure.

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Dickerson covers the Chicago Bears for ESPN's NFL Nation. If they don't match, they don't receive any compensation from the team that does sign Fuller.

The last player to get the transition tag was tight end Charles Clay in 2015.

The Bears have plenty of money to keep Fuller and now seem motivated to retain their original investment. He has eight career picks and was set to be an unrestricted free agent after the Bears declined to pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract. He came back in 2017 and had another solid season, rehabbing his value.

Why did the Bears give Fuller the transition tag?

He started 30 games in his first two seasons out of Virginia Tech and had six interceptions and 129 tackles.

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